Build the Plane While it’s in the Air

airplane from pixabay

If you don’t have something worth talking about, talking and listening are a waste of time. Communication skills are irrelevant apart from meaningful outcomes.

Define the future first, then determine and develop the skills that take you there. Leadership skills are best learned when needed. Outcomes, deliverables, and noble goals infuse leadership skills and techniques with meaning.

Build the plane while it’s in the air. Learn and develop as you go.

Exception – attitudes and character first:

Develop leadership attitudes and character before teaching skills and techniques. Attitudes are hard – skills are easy. Techniques are quick – character takes time.


  1. Self-development. Develop yourself before developing others.
  2. Optimism takes you further than pessimism.
  3. Leading is serving.
  4. Mistakes aren’t final.
  5. Give to others what you expect from them. Giving respect earns respect.
  6. It’s always about others.
  7. Face fear with courage.
  8. Face toward the future.
  9. Forgive offenses while maintaining responsibility for outcomes.
  10. Act more than react.
  11. Trust.
  12. Values matter most.
  13. Seek solutions more than giving them.
  14. Adaptability.
  15. Tenderness compliments toughness.

Bonus: Believe you can learn, adapt, and grow.

Why wait on skills:

Relevance infuses skill development with purpose, meaning, and urgency. The leadership skills you need are the ones that take you where you want to go. For example, train leaders how to run meetings when they start running meetings.

What three leadership attitudes are essential to effective leadership?

How are attitudes developed?